July 2nd, 2005. It’s been proclaimed the day that rocked the world, and who wouldn’t agree? In eight leading nations A-list musicians and celebrities lent their names and talents to one cause; To Make Poverty History. Amongst the artists were U2, Elton John, Madonna, Craig David and Green Day, not to mention that attending this concert could subsequently have you standing next to the Beckham’s, Brad Pitt or even the Royal family. However, this wasn’t their first time; back in 1985 the world sat up and watched dual concerts break a record as $20million dollars was raised in order to make poverty history. Nevertheless, poverty and famine are still a major problem around the world. Live8’s main aims
Live8 worked on the principle that they will be able to reach the worlds greatest leaders and encourage them to make certain reforms that will help Africa out of poverty. The 8 nations referred to as the G8 nations and their respective leaders, are the countries which attended a summit on July 6th-9th, 2005. The organisers of Live8 believe that the time has come in history where ordinary people can demand justice form their leaders and truly make a difference. They believe that the G8 leaders have it within their power to alter history however they will only have the will to do so if tens of thousands of people show them that enough is enough.Live8 wanted their supporters to demand:
• More and better aid for African countries. Every single day 30,000 children are dying form extreme poverty, one child every three seconds. From these statistics another campaign was formed with celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz, sporting an ad campaign where they “snap’ their fingers symbolising how quickly and abruptly a child dies
• Trade Justice for Africa. Currently import and export prices as well as the world competitive market make it too hard for poor nations to compete with these competitive prices. Live8 believe that if affordable trade conditions were in place then it would allow Africa the opportunity to compete in the world market and thus exit poverty
• Cancel Africa foreign debt. In mid 2005, some African nations were paying around $AU5 in debt repayment for every dollar they receive in aid. Thus making aid almost useless as it simply cycles back into the richer nations. It’s almost like starting a race 50m behind the starting line, meaning you will always be behind the rest of the competitors. If the richer nations were able to eliminate their foreign debt, (i.e. if the other race members allowed you to use a motorbike to catch up), then the African countries would only need to worry about their own country and aid would be used more efficiently. The G8 summit: success?
• By 2010 it was concluded that aid would double to Africa and that would also increase by 50 billions dollars worldwide.
• World leaders agreed to drop the export subsidies in the rich economies of the North thus allowing for below cost dumping of products on developing world markets - a practice that previously knocked producers in the developing world out of production.
• The G8 leaders agreed that some debt would be paid down until it is cancelled. Allowing African nations to get back on track with the rest of the world.
Although the organisers of Live8 aren’t convinced that world leaders have done all that they can do for Africa, I believe that live8 showed the world how popular culture can be used to bring justice and to make a difference. Poverty in Africa still exists and there are ways that anyone can continue with the celebrities cause and try to make poverty history! (Link to poverty across the globe) How Do I know this?